« ÎnapoiContinuă »
arms towards him, and embracing him, she said, <c dear, dear son, I am going to leave you, I am going to my Saviour." "I know," he replied, "that when you do go from us, it will be to the Saviour; but my dear mother. it may not be the Lord's time now to call you to himself." "Yes," said she, "now is the time, and Oh! I could weep for sin." Her words were accompanied with her tears. "Have you any doubts then, my dear friend ?" asked Mrs. Chrystie. "Oh no," replied Mrs. Graham and looking at Mr. and Mrs. B-, as they wept, " my dear children, I have no more doubt of going to my Saviour, than if I were already in his arms; my guilt is all transferred; he has cancelled all I owed. Yet I could weep for sins against so good a God: it seems to me as if there must be weeping even in heaven for sin." After this, she entered into conversation with her friends, mentioning portions of scripture, and favourite hymns which had been subjects of much comfortable exercise of mind to her. Some of these she had transcribed into a little book, calling them her victuals prepared for crossing over Jordan: she committed them to memory, and often called them to remembrance, as her songs in the night, when sleep had deserted her. She then got Mr. B— to read to her some of these portions, especially the eighty-second hymn of the third book of Newton's hymns, beginning thus:
Let us love, and sing, and wonder;
Mrs. Graham then fell asleep, nor did she awaken until the voice of the Rev. Dr Mason roused her. They had a very affectionate interview, which he has partly described in the excellent sermon he delivered after her decease. She expressed to him her hope, as founded altogether on the redemption that is in Jesus Christ. Were she left to depend on the merit of the best action she had ever performed, that would be only a source of despair. She repeated to him, as her view of salvation, the fourth verse of the hymn already quoted :
Let us wonder, grace and justice
Having asked Dr. Mason to pray with her, he inquired if there was any particular request she had to make of God, by him; she replied, that God would direct: then as he kneeled, she put up her hands, and raising her eyes towards heaven, breathed this short, but expressive petition, "Lord, lead thy servant in prayer."
After Dr. Mason had taken his leave, she again fell into a deep sleep. Her physicians still expressed a hope of her recovery as her pulse was regular, and the violence of her disease had abated. One of them, however, declared his opinion, that his poor drugs would prove of little avail against her own ardent prayers to depart, and be with Christ, which was far better for her than a return to a dying world.
On Monday the Rev. Mr. Rowan prayed with her, and to him she expressed also the tranquillity of her mind, and the steadfastness of her hope, through Christ, of eternal felicity..
Her lethargy increased; at intervals from sleep, she would occasionally assure her daughter, Mrs. B—, that all was well; and when she could rouse herself only to say one word at a time, that one word, accompanied with a smile, was "Peace." From her, there was a peculiar emphasis in this expression of the state of her mind; Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you,' had been a favourite portion of scripture with her, and a promise, the fulfilment of which was her earnest prayer to the God who made it. She also occasionally asked Mr. B- to pray with her, even when she could only articulate, as she looked at him, "Pray." She was now surrounded by many of her dear Christian friends, who watched her dying-bed with affection and solicitude. On Tuesday afternoon she slept with little intermission. This, said Dr. Mason, may be truly called" falling asleep in Jesus.” It was remarked by those who attended her, that all terror was taken away, and
that death seemed here as an entrance into life. Her countenance was placid, and looked younger than before her illness.
At a quarter past twelve o'clock, being the morning of the 27th of July, 1814, without a struggle or a groan, her spirit winged its flight from a mansion of clay to the realms of glory, whilst around the precious remnant of earth, her family and friends stood weeping, yet elevated by the scene they were witnessing. After a silence of many minutes, they kneeled by her bed, adored the goodness and the grace of God towards his departed child, and implored the divine blessing on both the branches of her family, as well as on all the Israel of God.
Thus she departed in peace, not trusting in her wisdom or virtue, like the Philosophers of Greece and Rome; not even like Addison, calling on the profligate to see a good man die; but like Howard, afraid that her good works might have a wrong place in the estimate of her hope, her chief glory was that of " ner saved by grace."*
a sinAfter such examples, who will dare to charge the doctrines of the cross of Christ with licentiousness? Here were two instances of persons, to whose good works the world have cheerfully borne testimony, who lived and died in the profession of these doctrines. It was faith that first purified their hearts, and so the stream of action from these fountains became pure also. Had not Christ died, and risen again, all the powers of man could never have produced such lives of benevolence, nor a death so full of contrition, yet so embalmed with hope. 'Hallelujah : unto Him who loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood, and hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father: to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen."
Mrs. Graham's death created a strong sensation in the public mind. Several clergymen of New-York made this event the subject of their discourses; and in the annual Reports of many charitable institutions, an affectionate tribute of respect was paid to her memory. Two of the chief magistrates of the city, said to Mr. B-, that they considered the death of Mrs. Graham
*This was Howard's epitaph, dictated by himself.
as a public loss. The Rev. Dr. Mason was requested to preach a sermon on this occasion. How ably he executed this trust, is well known to the public. The hymn she quoted to him was sung after the sermon.*
At the weekly Prayer Meeting which she usually attended, the circumstances of her death were made subjects of improvement. On the 16th of July she was a worshipper with her brethren and sisters there, and on the evening of the 30th, they were called to consider her by faith as in the immediate presence of her God, among the spirits of the Just made perfect.'
The services of that evening were closed with a hymn from Dobell's collection, which being descriptive of her happy change, shall be given here at length, as a proper conclusion of this imperfect sketch of her life.
'Tis finish'd! the conflict is past,
And now she's entomb'd with the dead.
The months of affliction are o'er,
We see her in anguish no more-
No sickness, or sorrow, or pain,
Since Christ was her life when below.
Her soul has now taken its flight
To mansions of Glory above,
The victory now is obtain'd;
She's gone her dear Saviour to see;
Her wishes she fully has gain'd-
On Him who is mighty to save,
Her soul was with confidence stay'd.
That she is now gone from our sight;
We soon shall behold her again,
With new and redoubled delight.
The perusal of this sermon has already led to the establishment of two respectable Orphan Societies, and of one Adult School in the United States.
Edinburgh, March, 1789..
JEREMIAH xlix. 11.
THE Lord's promise, which he made to me in the days
of my widowhood, and which I have made the subject of my prayers from day to day, taking the words in a spiritual sense; the Lord has done wonders for me and mine, since the day I was left a widow with three or phans, and the fourth not born, in a strange land, without money, at a distance from friends; or rather, without friends. Hitherto, he has supplied all my wants, and laid to hand every necessary, and many comforts; supporting character and credit; making way for me through the wilderness, pointing out my path, and settling the bounds of my habitation.
For all these blessings, I desire to be thankful and grateful to the God of providence, whose is the earth, and the fulness thereof: but these I cannot take as the substance of the promise; neither have they been the matter of my prayers. The salvation and the life I have wrestled for, is that which Christ died to purchase, and lives to bestow; even spiritual life, and salvation from sin. My God knows I have held fast this view of the words, seeking first the kingdom of God for my children, leaving temporals to be given or withheld, as may best suit with the conversion and sanctification of their souls. I have not asked for them health, beauty, riches, honours, nor temporal life; God knows what share of these consists with their better interests; let him give or withhold accordingly. One thing I have asked of the Lord, one thing only, and will persist in asking, and will hang upon him for, trust in him for, and for which I think I have his promise, even the life of their and my soul. 1 Thes. v. 23. is my petition for me and mine, 24th my anchor of hope, preceded by Jeremiah xlix. 11.